Panic attacks after surgery

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ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 7/18/2008 12:41 PM (GMT -6)   
My name is Sarrah.
 
I have been fighting with the panic attacks for about a year in serious but really for most of my life off and on. Recently I had a 4th surgery in two years and when I came out of happy land I could not breath. As in, swore I was gonna die and was hoping my family knew I loved them. Siince then I have had horrible panic attacks just about everyday. I have been taking my xanax, not much maybe .5 mlg a day, maybe .75 if it is a rough day. 

I have gone from carefree to terrified something bad is happening. If my leg hurts it is a DVT. If my head hurts it is a stroke and the chest pains are unreal. This attacks can last for hours and sometimes I am not aware enough to realize it is an attack so I just suffer through it without taking anything or trying to "end" it.

My coping comes in the form of sheer stubborness. I tell myself that no one has ever died from a panic attack or that I felt the same thing last night (or whenever) and survived. I do have a counsler I see every once in a while that I started seeing before my major surgery and I finally got an intake appointment. Apparently you have to tell them you are thinking about physical harm to be seen within the next 6 weeks (such crap)

 

One of my biggest questions is how long can these attacks last? For me it seems like unless I take something or get seriously distracted they last for hours. I know the worst is gone is minutes but the rest of it keeps going and going and going...




nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/18/2008 6:09 PM (GMT -6)   

Sarrah, Hi and welcome to HealingWell.

Sometimes panic can really get a good grip when we are unwell or recovery. It likes to get us at our lowest. Big meanie! I am sorry for all that you are going through but I have to applaud your stubborn nature! It is true, panic attacks cannot kill us, that is something I always hold onto when I am having one. I also remember that they DO stop, they always stop.

How long can an attack last? The DSMIV tells us that a panic attack is a discrete period of intense fear (I'm just paraphrasing here!) that lasts for around 5-8 minutes. I think this is horse hooey. I have had an attack that lasted at least six hours (I think I lost about 3 pounds in sweat, shaking etc) and I've had attacks that last 30 seconds.

It really is a personal thing. I find distracting myself is the best thing to do. I also take xanax for those rotten days. Good luck with the intake appointment. I hope you get in quickly without having to resort to scare tactics. Again, it is lovely to have you with us. I wish you all the best, please keep us up to date.

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


jordaNZone
Veteran Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 7/19/2008 7:08 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi there sarrah..

Completely understandable that you are having panic attacks after surgery..

How about changing how you deal with panic attacks (only a suggestion) instead of fighting with them - try 'accepting' them when they show up...it's hard to do at first I know, but I have found the less I react towards them the more they go away...Try the attitude of "Oh well  eyes  " followed by breathing deeply and calmly - you may be suprised how good you are at this tactic and how quickly they disappear :-) I wish you well.

Sista J.

 


Love All
Trust a Few
But Always paddle your own Canoe...
 
 
 
 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32586
   Posted 7/19/2008 11:55 AM (GMT -6)   

Dear Sarrah,

Panic attacks are no fun as we all know and I am sorry that you are going through these but I feel your past history of surgeries has triggered some of your attacks and I understand that.  I am Kitt and I have A & P and Depression. Bless you and keep on fighting off the panic. Your doing good.

Few pointers for you:

Remember this:

It does not matter if you feel frightened, disorientated, dreamlike, or unsteady. These feelings are an exaggeration of the normal bodily reactions to stress.

Just because you have these sensations doesn't mean you are crazy. These feelings are just unpleasant and frightening, not dangerous. Nothing worse will happen to you.

Let your feelings come. . Don't run away from panic. When you feel panic build up, take a deep breath and as you breathe out, let go. Keep trying. Stay there almost as if you were floating in space. Don't fight the feeling of panic. Accept it; you can deal with it.

Try to make yourself as comfortable as possible without escaping. If you're on a street, lean against a post or a store wall. If you're at the cosmetics department of a store, find a quieter counter or corner. If you're in a boutique, tell the salesperson you don't feel well and want to sit for a while. Do not jump into a car and go home in fear.

Don't indulge in stinkin thinking, "Why can't I be normal ? Why does this have to happen to me?" Just accept what is happening to you. If you do this, what you fear most will not happen.

Think about what is really happening to your body at this moment. Do not think "Something terrible is going to happen. I must get out." Repeat to yourself "I am ok, I will not die or lose control."

Try to distract yourself from what is going on inside you. Look at your surroundings. See the other people around you. .They are with you, not against you.

When the panic subsides, let your body go loose, take a deep breath, and go on with your day. Remember, each time you cope with panic and anxiety, you reduce your fear


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources


nervymeg
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 7/20/2008 7:55 PM (GMT -6)   

How are you going Sarrah? Just checking in, concerned. I hope you are having a much better day.

Meg


Co-moderator Anxiety/Panic
Panic Attack Survivor
Weekend Warrior Princess
 


ekkorose
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2008
Total Posts : 329
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I am ok. Had a pretty rough weekend. I had to cancel plans because the thought of going out was more then my xanax could take. I finally get to see the Dr. tomorrow so hopefully we can work out a treatment plan and I can start coping with this a lot better.

Thank you for thinking of me,
Sarrah

In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children. The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted. The result is unruly children and childish adults. ~Thomas Szasz 


stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32586
   Posted 7/21/2008 8:40 AM (GMT -6)   

Sarrah,

I am glad your going to see the physician.  Keep on believing that your quality of life will improve and keep posting to the boards.  There is something comforting about being able to post your thoughts here.

Gentle Hugs
Kitt


 

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety, Panic & Depression 
*~*
http://www.healingwell.com/donate *~*
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~
Clickable Link: Anxiety-Panic Resources

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